FAR FROM sorrow as might have been expected on the marking of someone’s death, was a festive air at 13 Studio One Boulevard, St. Andrew, on Thursday afternoon.
“It was decided that something should be done to honour those who made Studio One what it is,” Bunny Goodison, radio announcer and member of the foundation established to steer the image of Dodd and Studio One, said. As such, it was decided to inscribe a list of names on the wall closest to Studio One Boulevard, facing inside the grounds directly across from the door through which the famed facility is entered, called the ‘Wall of Honour’.
Goodison explained that initially the wall would bear the names of deceased musicians, including singers, “who have made Studio One what it is, the most famous label in the Third World”.
After brief speeches from Minister of Finance Omar Davies and Barbara Gloudon, Davies and Sir Coxsone’s widow, Norma Dodd, pulled apart the black and gold cloth covering the double row of names, written in black against the white background of a plaque set into the concrete wall. It was previously announced that the list was in alphabetical order and, after the names of Dodd and his long-time rival, Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid, the only non-Studio One name on the list, they were.
Sir Coxsone should soon be larger and more solid than the name at the head of the list. Davies, as Minister with responsibility for the CHASE Fund, said that a proposal has been sent in to commission a bust of Dodd. “The CHASE Fund will finance and support that bust,” he said, to applause.
There was also hints of roads being renamed for Delroy Reid and Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid.
FINISH WITH HONOUR
Gloudon was concerned about the living, saying “none of our founding fathers and mothers should be dying for medication now, for a food now”. She said that if they could not be repaid in the way that someone like Willie Nelson is, in that he is elevated to icon status and continues to earn by performing and recording, we should “pay them in a way that when the last come they can go in dignity. Something has to be done for them to finish their time with honour … Every time we gather in this yard there are fewer people here,” Gloudon said.
And she noted that “I never hear no gunshot round here. It is an example that where good music play gunshot don’t have to fire”.
Enid of the duo Keith and Enid opened the function by leading all in a chorus. Wentworth Thomas, first recipient of the Studio One scholarship at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts expressed his gratitude; and Norma Dodd gave thanks for the support she received after her husband died two years ago.
–Mel Cooke, Freelance Writer, JAMAICA GLEANER